The Jacksonville Football Indians will be attempting to make hay while the sun shines on Friday when they take on the Henderson Lions at the Historic Tomato Bowl.
Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m., with the Homecoming 2019 introductions and crownings slated to start at 7 p.m.
After coming from behind in the second half to stop Palestine 49-48 last week, the Indians (1-1) are looking to complete non-conference play with a winning record.
To do that the Tribe must beat Henderson (2-1).
Looking at the big picture, if the Tribe can subdue the Lions, the team, perhaps, will be in position to pull off a run, with District 9-5A-II set to open with back-to-back home games against Nacogdoches and Whitehouse, following a bye next week.
“We are not scheduled to play the district heavy weights until later in the season,” Jacksonville head football coach Wayne Coleman said. “It would be nice to be able to string together some wins early on.
“But, to do that we have to beat Henderson, and that is easier said than done.”
After slapping Whitehouse around 23-0 in Week 1, Henderson crashed back down to earth last week when Texarkana Pleasant Grove, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A-II, knocked off the Lions 40-7.
Coleman said he empathizes with Henderson (1-1) and described the Lions' situation last week as being almost a carbon carbon to what Jacksonville faced in Week 1 versus Carthage, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 4A-I.
“Pleasant Grove was not a good match up for Henderson,” he said. “They (PG) were bigger and faster, much the same way Carthage was bigger and faster than we were; so regardless of what the scoreboard said, Henderson is a team loaded with speed, and they are well coached, and we expect them to cover over here with their “A” game on Friday.”
Coleman said that speed-wise Henderson reminds him of Carthage.
“They are fast to the ball and they run multiple schemes on defense to try to confuse the quarterback.” he said. “They will try to keep pressure on the quarterback in order to try to disrupt our passing game.”
Jacksonville had 380 yards through the air last week, with Colorado commit Chris Carpenter catching 11 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns.
“Chris had a big night last week,” Coleman said. “But I don't think we will be seeing single-man coverage on him this week.”
Jacksonville's running game improved last week — the Tribe averaged 4.3 yards per carry — and that number will have to ascend upward even more according to Coleman.
“We ran the ball better, but our running game still has to get better,” he said. “The better our run game is, the more things we can do passing.”
COLEMAN'S PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
To no one's surprised, Carpenter took home the Offensive Player of the Week laud, while the entire Tribe secondary earned the Defensive Player(s) of the Week nod.
“I think Palestine completed one pass all night,” Coleman said. “So you have to give those guys in the secondary a lot of credit,”
Sophomore Santos Aguilar was named the Special Teams Player of the Week for delivering two picture-perfect onside kicks that Jacksonville was able to recover in the second half.
Carpenter also was named as the Fightin' Heart Award winner for his overall effort and contribution to the team.